Voices from Russia

Sunday, 13 May 2018

13 May 2018. To Be Or Not To Be… That’s the Question! Shall Bart Grant Autocephaly to the Uncanonical Ukrainians?

Metropolitan Onufry Berezovsky of Kiev and all the Ukraine, First Hierarch of the UPTs/MP, the only canonical Orthodox Church in the Ukraine

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Three weeks ago, a news item flashed through the Orthosphere:

Poroshenko wants Bart to make Kiev an Autocephalous Church!

I decided to “wait and see”… this looked “interesting”, but would it have “legs?” A senior archpriest commented:

This move of granting autocephaly will completely disrupt the worldwide Orthodox Church into a mess that won’t be healed for a long time if ever.

Another senior voice said:

I can’t see it working out without lots of pain and suffering.

After getting communications like this, I decided to let the issue sit and develop. Interestingly, it seems to have gone doggo, if not dead. Buffeted from all sides, Bart checked himself into hospital, then, he left, apparently none the worse. It appears as though HH spoke and Bart listened. Patriarch Kirill is the effectual primus inter pares in Orthodoxy, and all know it. Apparently, Bart was getting pressure from both ends (his American minders and HH), so, he checked into hospital to cool things down. It appears to have simply fallen off the face of the earth. My guess is that American and Canadian Galician nutters working for the American and Canadian special services came up with this cockamamie idea, sold it to their superiors, getting Poroshenko on board, without really informing Bart of what was going on. After this hiatus, the whole thing does appear to be “something run up by the apprentice whilst the blacksmith was out”.

Is it dead? I think not. The Yanks are getting desperate, as none of their foreign policy initiatives are working out at all. China and Russia set up the historic peace meeting in Korea… China, Russia, and Iran stymied American efforts to topple the legitimate Syrian government… China and Russia, possibly joined by the Continental members of the EU, signalled their intent to ignore Trump’s ripping up of the Iranian nuclear accord… the Ukraine can’t get its act together; it can’t topple the patriot Peoples Republics. Therefore, the USA may continue to press Bart to do this. So far, he’s resisted them. It’s been a behind-the-scenes affair… but Bart knows that if events actually came up to a decision, if he didn’t give in to Washington, he’d suffer the same fate as Emmanuel Vaportzis in 1948… the CIA would depose him and replace him with a willing stooge. Would he stand firm or would he punk out? No one knows (I hope that we never have to come to that point).

If Bart were to do this, it’d set up a schism as serious as the one of 1054. Happily, he appears to realise this and isn’t eager to do the bidding of the Anglos. Shall it pass? Only time will tell us… what with the usual shortage of crystal balls and time machines, I don’t know what’ll happen… no one does. Pray for this chalice to pass…

BMD

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Saturday, 6 January 2018

The Ukraine Anticipates a Coup in Spring 2018… and Other Forecasts

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For the Ukraine, the past year was catastrophic in all respects… in the economy, in domestic politics, and internationally. The authorities in Kiev celebrate the USA’s commitment to supply Javelin ATGMs, but even they understand that their only use is to harm Russia. Most Ukrainian citizens can see that.

On the last day of the year, it’s customary to take stock and give forecasts for the future. Therefore, in my opinion, the simmering Maidan 2.0 won’t really amount to much of anything… it won’t affect things all that much, although it’ll bounce around throughout all of 2018. Remember how there was a tent city named after Yuliya Timoshenko in the centre of Kiev for months on end, full of homeless and tramps? Saakashvili’s Maidan will deteriorate in the same way. Closer to spring, I think that a coup is possible in the Ukraine, but Saakashvili won’t necessarily be its “tribune”.

Why can’t I name a leader of a possibly upcoming coup? The level of confidence in all Ukrainian politicians is already so abysmal that a “dark horse” could emerge in such a situation. Of course, the most controversial figure today who has a chance to oust Poroshenko is Yuliya Timoshenko. Actually, she has the highest rating [amongst politicians] in the country, but this doesn’t mean that the majority of citizens trust her. When society has a total distrust of all politicians, even a 5-6 percent approval rating looks like solid political capital. As they say, if you can’t catch a real fish, even a crawdad will do. In general, I don’t believe any of the political rankings that we have in the country today. Everything happens willy-nilly, political factions attempt this and that, you can try to redraw the political map as you will, you only need support from 3-4 percent of the people, thereby lessening the role of “leading” politicians. Right now, the Americans don’t have any reliable figure that they can use to pursue their war. They know Yuliya Timoshenko well; they have much that they could use to influence her, including threats of criminal prosecution. However, they know that Timoshenko is a cunning politician, so it’s unlikely they’d bet on her. As for the hype that the Americans would supposedly back a new leader like Vakarchuk… I don’t believe it.

Under such conditions, new leaders could appear in the country in 2018. However, unfortunately, those who could really pull the country out of its crisis have either left or they’ve simply withdrawn from politics; they don’t want to take part in the current insanity. I’m sure that former Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov could lead the country. Nevertheless, even if the people wanted him back, the present authorities wouldn’t let him return, even though he’s a politician who has stature generally, not only in the Ukraine. He’s considered trustworthy not only in the Ukraine, but also in Russia and in the West. He’s the best “compromise” figure; therefore, he’d be the most effective candidate. In these circumstances, to keep his position, Poroshenko could try to heat up the war in the Donbas to “unify an unbroken nation”. Nonetheless, the Ukraine would lose any military action, as it did in 2014. This’d lead to even greater squabbles between the factions of Poroshenko, Avakov, Turchinov, and others. I think that it’s a real danger that the Americans would try to export such political instability to Russia. Navalny and Sobchak are nothing more than reiterations of [the Americans’] Ukrainian machinations.

Finally, even in this holiday season, I’d like you to remember that somewhere, now, in the Donbass, many people, including kids and old people, huddle in their cellars, hiding from aggressor shellfire. Don’t forget that some guys, defenders of the Donbass, will wake up today, but they won’t live to see tomorrow, as they’d give their lives for Freedom and Truth in the fight against Evil! I don’t censure anyone for being happy and celebrating the holidays… I just ask you, my friends, not to forget that that’s there a war going on. Therefore, my main wish for next year is peace! I want peace in the Donbass, peace in the Ukraine, and peace in Russia! In 2019, there shouldn’t be any soldiers in the trenches or ordinary civilians hiding in basements!

Aleksei Zhuravko

31 December 2017

Antifashist

http://antifashist.com/item/ukrainu-zhdet-perevorot-k-vesne-2018-goda-i-drugie-prognozy.html

Sunday, 26 November 2017

LNR Resolved Internal Crisis Calmly

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This week was fraught with both real and fake news stories about an internal political crisis in the LNR in the Donbass. The genesis of the conflict appeared to be a dispute between Interior Minister I A Kornet and former LNR Head of State I V Plotnitsky. Kornet stated that saboteurs surrounded Plotnitsky and that such people had to go for the good of the LNR. At no time did Kornet publicly accuse Plotnitsky of any personal wrongdoing. However, many believe that Plotnitsky isn’t an inspirational leader and that he isn’t up to the task of running a republic besieged by aggressive warfare from the fascist Kiev régime. For some time, social media had rumours of Plotnitsky’s responsibility for the deaths of LNR commanders in the past, although these rumours have likely spread because people came to see Plotnitsky as in ineffective commander rather than a traitor. There’s never been any substantial evidence showing that Plotnitsky ever conspired against his own officers.

LNR Security Minister Leonid Pasechnik is the interim Head of State until new elections. Pasechnik thanked his predecessor for his service and announced the appointment of Plotnitsky to a new role as LNR envoy for future discussions on the Minsk Accords (which aim to bring a long-term ceasefire to the Donbass conflict). This move clearly has the intent of demonstrating the LNR’s internal stability, insofar as a man seen as not fit to be the leader, would still have a respectable position within the government, albeit as an envoy whose role is largely honorific due to the stalemate in implementing the Minsk Agreements. The move also helps put to rest rumours from pro-junta social media that Plotnitsky was dead or under torture. Clearly, neither of these assertions is factual. Pasechnik stated:

Plotnitsky made a great contribution to the peaceful settlement process. He’s one of the Minsk accords signers. We appointed him LNR plenipotentiary for execution of the Minsk accords.

Whilst details concerning what convinced Plotnitsky to finally relinquish power are yet to be fully known, it’d appear that, as was the case of the far more experienced Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, Plotnitsky realised that his former comrades wanted a changing of the guard and like all leaders who’d rather leave with dignity than with a fight, he eventually acquiesced. Overall, the comparatively smooth transition from a leader whose popularity had waned to an interim leader apparently supported by those agitating for Plotnitsky’s ouster demonstrated that the LNR is now politically mature, in spite of only being founded in 2014 and being the victim of an aggressive war since the moment of its founding.

Furthermore, as pro-Ukrainian regime media and social media somersaulted with various conspiracy theories and with the Kiev regime eager to exploit the de facto resolved political crisis in the LNR, the fact of the matter is that Kiev wasn’t able to upset the LNR’s security during was a week-long crisis. The LNR and DNR function as states, but the Kiev regime can barely function at all, in spite of continued support (lethargic) from the West. Throughout the crisis, the LNR bureaucracy was generally functional, police and security services maintained the peace, and life for ordinary citizens went on normally, with no one harmed. By contrast, political assassinations in Kiev are all too common, political ultra-violence has long been the norm, and junta chieftain Poroshenko is under a sustained political attack from the former Georgian leader Mikhail Saakashvili, who seeks to replace Poroshenko at the soonest possible moment.

The political health of the LNR isn’t perfect, but considering that it’s the victim of a brutal war, it functions rather better than the aggressor in the war, especially considering that Kiev has the support of all the major Western powers, whereas the LNR isn’t even supported by Russia, beyond the provision of humanitarian aid and minor civilian material aid. The LNR’s neighbour, the DNR, is even more stable. DNR Head of State A V Zakharchenko has proved to be an effective leader who’s withstood the most aggressive phases of the war (thus far) and has been able to broadly maintain the DNR’s security in spite of losing his most skilled and beloved commanders, M S “Givi” Tolstykh and A P “Motorola” Pavlov.

Earlier this year, Zakharchenko proposed creating a union-state of Malorossiya between the LNR, DNR, and other areas within the 1991 Ukrainian SSR borders that want to unite peacefully as a single state. At the time, Plotnitsky claimed to be unaware of this idea, which is a clear sign that he was either not up to the task of leadership or that he wasn’t considered important enough to get an advance notice of a major announcement that many local and foreign journalists received. With Plotnitsky out of the picture, it’s possible that such a union-state is now increasingly possible. The beginning of such a wider union would, of course, be a formal union between the LNR and DNR, which would replace the current less-formal confederation, which amounts to little more than an alliance.

Ultimately, the future of what remains of the Ukraine will likely be the creation of voluntary unions that more or less correspond to the borders of historic Malorossiya and Novorossiya, in addition to separate entities accounting for the parts of the 1991 Ukrainian SSR, which include former parts of Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and Romania. With the probable exception of historical Galicia returning to Poland, there also remains the possibility of each aforementioned entity returning to its mother country.

24 November 2017

Adam Garrie

The Duran      

http://theduran.com/lugansk-peoples-republic-resolves-internal-crisis-dignity-professionalism/

Friday, 10 November 2017

The Ukraine: A State Run by the Rich, For the Rich

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This month, Ukrainian President P A Poroshenko found himself uncomfortably exposed. His name was in the Paradise Papers, which revealed how Poroshenko, through his business entanglements and offshore dealings, is involved in far-reaching tax evasion schemes. As war with Russian-backed elements ravages his country, the leaks illustrate how Poroshenko puts his business interests above his public duties. Nobody should be surprised to find Poroshenko among the Who’s Who of international tax dodgers. Despite his public opining on how financially-motivated wrongdoing “paralysed” the Ukrainian economy, Poroshenko is no stranger to corruption. Elected on an anti-corruption platform in 2014, he promised to sell his confectionary company, Roshen, to avoid any conflict of interest between his commercial endeavours and running the country. Predictably, however, he instead began exploring loopholes that’d enable him to profit from the company while running the country.

The first time his corruption schemes came out was in April 2016 when the Panama Papers mentioned him. Far from relinquishing his business, the leak showed he’d set up a complex offshore structure that remained under his control. He admitted to having done so but claimed this was in preparation for handing the company over to a trust. However, this latest investigation reveals no such thing happened. On the contrary, a lawyer working on Poroshenko’s behalf wrote to an offshore specialist in the Isle of Man to set up a labyrinthine company structure involving entities in Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Cyprus for tax purposes.

If only Poroshenko invested the same energy into solving his country’s political problems as he does in protecting his own commercial interests, perhaps the Ukraine wouldn’t be in quite such a crisis. These revelations came at a time when the conflict in the former eastern Ukraine, which has simmered for three years, is worsening. The UN noted that there were 375 conflict-related civilian casualties (67 deaths and 308 injuries) in the first six months of 2017, a surge of 74 percent over the same period in 2016. According to the UN, this is due to the changing nature of the conflict, which isn’t only intensifying but also increasingly fought out with heavy weaponry in civilian areas. Since the conflict began, the Ukrainian economy nosedived and it continues to stumble. Investment giant Moody’s noted that in 2017-18 per capita GDP in the Ukraine will remain the lowest in the Commonwealth of Independent States and that the population would continue to be “very poor”. Add to this the problem of homelessness, compounded by 1.7 million internally-displaced people (IDPs), it’s easy to see that the country’s socio-economic conditions are untenable.

As these events unfold, Poroshenko looks out for his associates in high-ranking political and economic positions, who benefit greatly from the war. A prime example is the booming defence industry. The state-owned weapons manufacturer Ukroboronprom reported a 100 percent fulfilment of state defence orders and a 25 percent increase in exports in 2016. It also happens that Roman Romanov (a close Poroshenko ally) heads the firm. Romanov is hardly an exception because reports say that the Ukraine’s top defence managers syphoned off almost 3.8 million USD (225.71 million Roubles. 25.24 million Renminbi. 248.37 million INR. 4.82 million CAD. 4.96 million AUD. 3.26 million Euros. 2.89 million UK Pounds) from funds allocated for spare parts for armoured vehicles. Secrecy around where public money goes is endemic and whilst the Ukrainian defence sector now loses far fewer weapons and other equipment to theft, it’s clear that money wends its way from the public purse into private pockets by other means.

However, in this case, the misappropriation of funds is the smaller evil. Heavier weighs the fact that, by doing so, the Ukraine’s élite betrays the Ukrainian war effort and the soldiers on the front lines. Yet, in a display of circular thinking, Poroshenko uses the war as a justification for downgrading the importance of the issue and allowing the status quo to continue… given that the conflict allows so many of his cronies to prosper. However, it’s becoming clear that Poroshenko can’t protect the status quo indefinitely, as combat veterans increasingly show public indignation. Angered that the state uses them as an excuse for its failed promises, they’ve become the main source of anti-corruption protests. Whether their anger will suffice to be a catalyst for change in public life remains is open to question, but the fact that soldiers, exhausted from fighting against military stalemate and neglect, means Poroshenko can no longer simply ignore society’s demands for change.

There are signs that the president is starting to feel the heat. Last month, protests in front of the Rada building drew around 6,000 people, demanding that lawmakers lose their judicial immunity from prosecution. In what seems like an attempt to appease the masses, Poroshenko submitted a bill to revoke the immunity clause… although it’d only come into effect in 2020. It’s high time the Ukraine changes its ways, but with Poroshenko at the helm, this is unlikely to happen. However, the country’s failure to rein in corruption is beginning to undermine support from the EU and USA in its fight against Russia. That the West will stand beside Ukraine unconditionally is no longer a given. For now, the conflict intensifies and the political élite continue to get richer while the broader population continues to suffer. Change in the Ukraine can’t come too soon.

9 November 2017

Nathan Dabrowski

International Policy Digest

https://intpolicydigest.org/2017/11/09/ukraine-a-state-run-by-the-rich-for-the-rich/

Editor:

This is from a pro-neoliberal American source. Poroshenko’s days are numbered. It looks like the USA is going to back the Galician Uniate ultras and its poodles in the EU and Canada will follow suit (for now, at least). The Ukrainian state is a failed enterprise, made even more so by deliberate Western-inspired deindustrialisation (do note that the American author didn’t cover that aspect, did he?). The most that the Uniate ultras can do is to accelerate the fall of the present state structure. In that case, Russia would snap up Novorossiya, Poland would grab the Lvovshchina, Hungary would take in Podkarpatskiya, and Romania would gather its bits and pieces. The American coup in Kiev in 2014 was a February Revolution, only sustained due to external support. In the present Ukrainian scenario, “October” is in the wings. As with all such events, all bets are off and no one knows what’ll ensue. That’s why Russia hasn’t stepped in. Unlike the toddler Anglos, they know what chaos brings… it isn’t a “bright future”… that, all Russians know all too well.

By the way, do note that the Ukrainian defence apparat is as corrupt as is that of its American puppeteers. They’re salting away money for when they have to flee the pitchforks of the people. A sign of the times is that the Voenkom (the agency in charge of conscription) only takes bribes in Roubles, Euros, or USDs. They know something that we don’t…

BMD

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